May 4, 2010
LOGAN, Utah - Former Utah State University Athletics Director Chuck Bell and former student-athlete and women's basketball coach Fern Gardner have both been selected for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Hall of Fame. Bell and Gardner, along with 10 other inductees, will be recognized during NACDA's 45th-annual convention on June 23 in Anaheim, Calif.
From 1992-98, Chuck Bell served as the director of athletics at Utah State University. During that time, Aggie teams captured 23 conference titles, competed in a pair of bowl games and participated in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and the NIT.
During his time at Utah State, Bell instituted a three-year plan to fully comply with Title IX requirements, and graduation rates rose to 78 percent for student-athletes who exhausted their eligibility. Due to increased giving during his time, he oversaw new facilities built for softball, soccer, track and field, and an indoor football practice field and training building.
The Utah State women's soccer program was established under Bell's leadership, and in 2002, four years after he left the university, the soccer stadium was renamed the "Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field."
In addition to holding the AD job at Utah State, Bell also served as the director of athletics at Colorado State University (interim), San Jose State University and Delaware State University. Bell became the first Caucasian athletics director in the long history of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's) when he took the position at Delaware State in 2005.
Bell served on NACDA's Executive Committee (1999-2000, 1995-98) and was on the Directors' Cup Committee from 1998-2007. He also has served on the National Football Foundation Board of Directors and the Division 1A Athletic Directors' Association Executive Committee.
Gardner competed in basketball, volleyball, softball, and track and field while a student at Utah State. Gardner was also a star pitcher for the Utah Shamrocks, one of the top amateur fast pitch softball teams in the nation. She played 21 years with the Shamrocks (1951-71), pitching in 13 national tournaments and earning ASA All-America honors in 1970. Gardner also played six years (1959-65) on Utah Lakers' AAU basketball team, participating in six AAU national tournaments.
Following her professional playing career, Gardner coached the women's basketball team at Utah State from 1970-75 and led the Aggies to four Region 7 championships and four AIAW National Tournament appearances. During that time, she also coached the Aggie field hockey (one year), volleyball, softball and track and field teams, while serving as the director of women's intramurals and teaching in the physical education department.
Gardner was hired by the University of Utah in 1975 in the dual role of women's basketball coach and women's athletic director. In 1983, Gardner left coaching to become a full-time assistant athletics director.
Gardner is a member of both the Utah State University Athletics Hall of Fame and the University of Utah Crimson Club Hall of Fame, as well as the Utah Softball Hall of Fame, Utah Sports Hall of Fame, Utah Summer Games Hall of Fame, the Utah State University College of Health, Physical Education and Recreation Hall of Fame, and now the NACDA Hall of Fame. Gardner has also received Distinguished Alumni Awards from Bear River High School and Utah State University.
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